Ohio Unemployment Benefit Questions

Ohio Unemployment Benefit Questions

When should I file an application for benefits?

You should file your application for unemployment benefits as soon as you become unemployed.  Your claim will begin the Sunday of the calendar week in which your application is filed. Waiting more than a week to apply will delay the start of your claim, and no benefits will be paid for weeks of unemployment that pass before the week you file. Even if you need to serve the required waiting week or you are receiving separation pay from your employer, do not wait to file your application for unemployment benefits.

How do I claim a dependent child?

A child, stepchild, or adopted child is allowed as a dependent if both of the following two conditions are met.

  • The child is under 18 at the beginning date of the benefit year, or if the child is 18 or older and unable to work because of a permanent mental or physical disability.
  • You have paid more than half the cost of the child’s support for the 90-day period before the beginning date of your benefit year (or for the length of the parental relationship, if less than 90 days).

Claiming children as dependents will not be allowed if your spouse has filed for unemployment within the past year and has received an increased weekly amount because he or she claimed the same dependents.

How do I file my weekly unemployment claim in Ohio?

In most cases, you will file a weekly claim online. You will use your Social Security number and a pin (that is mailed to you) to log on, where you will answer a few questions such as whether or not you worked and whether or not you searched for work. Although you can apply for Ohio unemployment over the phone, when you file a weekly claim it is best to use the online portal. If you don’t own a computer, you can use a public one at the library, visit an OhioMeansJobs center, or call the Ohio unemployment phone number for further assistance.

What disqualifies you from unemployment in Ohio?

When you file your Ohio unemployment application, you need to meet unemployment eligibility requirements, and if you don’t you can be disqualified from Ohio unemployment benefits.

These requirements include:

  • Being totally or partially unemployed
  • Being unemployed through no fault of your own – which excludes most types of quitting, gross negligence, or willful misconduct
  • You performed enough work since last collecting unemployment, if applicable
  • You worked enough weeks and earned enough money during your base period to qualify for benefits

In the state of Ohio, this means you must have worked at least 20 weeks during your base period, and have earned an average weekly wage of at least $315. Note that your base period is the first four calendar quarters out of the last five complete calendar quarters prior to your unemployment claim. If you cannot meet all of these requirements, you may not be eligible to collect unemployment insurance.

In a related vein, while you are collecting benefits, you are responsible for filing your weekly claim. Filing your claim late may result in delayed or lost benefits. Moreover, you must engage in an honest work search. You must perform at least 2 job search activities per week. After 8 weeks of collecting benefits, you must have a resume uploaded on the OhioMeansJobs website. After 20 weeks, you are required to log in to OhioMeansJobs.com and create a Career Profile.

How to speak to a live person at Ohio unemployment?

You may need help applying for unemployment. Perhaps you have a question regarding the benefits portal. Or perhaps you’d like to understand how the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services arrived at their calculation of your weekly benefit amount.

Whatever the case may be, you can call the Ohio unemployment phone number between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. You can also visit an Ohio unemployment office location nearest you for a variety of job-related services and assistance.

How to report unemployment fraud in Ohio?

Unemployment fraud occurs when an employee or employer intentionally provides false information. A common example is misrepresenting particular details about yourself to qualify for benefits or collect a higher weekly benefit amount. Examples of this type of fraud include lying about why you were terminated from your previous job, or intentionally misrepresenting your wages earned during the base period. An employer can commit fraud by falsely claiming a worker was a contractor to avoid paying UI benefits.

Identity theft is another form of unemployment fraud. Using somebody else’s personal information to collect benefits is quite illegal and unfortunately all too common. It is important to take immediate action if you feel that someone is using your personal information to collect benefits. One indicator of identity theft is if you receive a monetary determination in the mail, or an unexpected unemployment debit card in the mail when you did not file a claim. Contact the Ohio unemployment fraud department to report any suspicious activity.

How long can I collect unemployment in Ohio?

The number of weeks you can collect Ohio unemployment depends on how many weeks you worked during your base period. There is a week-to-week correlation between the two. Remember that you must have worked at least 20 weeks to even qualify for unemployment, but even if you worked every week, you can still only collect up to 26 weeks. For example, if you worked 20 weeks during your base period, you can collect UI benefits for 20 weeks. If you worked 24 weeks, you can collect UI benefits for 24 weeks. And if you worked 26 weeks or more during your base period, you can collect Ohio UI benefits for 26 weeks.

Are Ohio unemployment benefits extended?

There are no extended unemployment benefits in Ohio except during certain circumstances such as a natural disaster, pandemic, or significant recession. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were special types of unemployment benefits extensions and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provided an additional $600 per claim each week on top of the weekly benefit amount.

What is an overpayment and what should I do if I’m notified?

If you receive an unemployment overpayment and it was made through no fault of your own, the unemployment department might waive the right to collect it back, though this is unlikely.

You are responsible for paying back the overpayment. Send a check payable to “Ohio Department of Job and Family Services” and mail the payment to:

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
P.O. Box 182059
Columbus, OH  43218

Important: You must include your Social Security number with your payment.

May an applicant file a claim outside of Ohio?

If your base period employment was in Ohio, but you live in and are seeking work in a state other than Ohio, your unemployment claim will be an “Ohio interstate claim.”

If you have worked in more than one state during your base period, you may qualify for unemployment by combining wages from those states. To establish a “combined wage claim,” you must apply for benefits with one of the states where your base period wages were reported.

How long will it take to apply?

Whether you apply online or by telephone, the process will take about 20-25 minutes. If you are online and need to stop before you finish the application, you can log back in later – within 24 hours from the time you started – and continue where you left off. Your application is not considered “filed” until you receive a confirmation number.

  1. Hi, I’ve been on unemployment for a while now. I worked in NY, then moved to Ohio where I worked two jobs back to back that fired me. I started a UE claim. Then right when my benefits were about to expire covid happened, my benefits were extended. As we all know the extended benefits ended on July 25th, but I was told we are getting another extension, so I reapplied, the UE associate told me they are now investigating my claim because of the state of NY and trying to find out if I’m owed any wages from that state before I can recieve Ohio benefits. (I feel like I didn’t exactly understand her, and could be wrong) I’m positive I misunderstood everything she said and was wondering if anyone knew what this could mean. She aslo said It’s possible there was an overpayment. So I assume that means I would have to pay $ back that I don’t have? HELP!

    • Christina,

      Please wait to hear back from the investigation. There might be a delay owing to the number of pending applications.

  2. Do I have to use all of my Paid Time Off before filing for unemployment if my employer shuts down due to COVID-19?

  3. My job was eliminated after 10+ years & my severance is about to end after 24 weeks of salary continuation during which I have had to be available for questions if needed. Do I qualify for unemployment? My ending salary was over $ 100,000/yr & I had 10+ years on the job here in Ohio.

  4. I will be receiving unemployment Benefits shortly. I am age 64 and have both an IRA and 401K from employers I have worked for, my question is if I am drawing my unemployment benefits and want to supplement my income with one of these will I have money reduced from my full unemployment benefit or do I need to forget about supplementing my income this way. Both the IRA and the 401K are considered Passive incomes

    • Phillip,

      Your passive incomes will have an impact on Unemployment Benefits. To determine the extent, please call the Claims Center.

  5. I have been receiving Ohio unemployment for two months. I just got a job offer that starts in 3 weeks. Do I still need to search for a job (2 job application per week) over the next 3 week to continue getting my Ohio unemployment

  6. I received notice that I qualify for my unemployment claim, but the letter stated my children were not considered in the qualifying amount because they did not have their SSN. I had tried to go back in and list them afterwards when I had their cards handy but it would not let me…I don’t see anywhere on my main page to be able to ask what to do or how I can give their numbers and have them considered in my qualifying amount.
    Also I’ve taken a temporary part time position where I’m making under my weekly benefit amount by $43. When I file my weekly claim, will they deduct my exact gross wages from my unemployment payment to where I’m still only making the exact same amount? So in other words, will my weekly combined wages be exactly the same whether I’m working the temp job or not?
    Lastly, I am signed up to be paid on a debit card, but my first payment was a check…why was this? I rechecked online and I’ve definitely had the debit card payment selected. Was it just because this was my first initial payment or is there some sort of error? And if it is an error and they will continue sending paper checks by mail, how can I change it to be paid on the unemployment debit card if that’s already what I have selected?

  7. if I was let go from the company I worked for for 12 to 13 years do to a back injury can I collect unemployment I was not fired just let go?

    • You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  8. There is a possibility that I may be offered a job out of state. The problem is the relocation package may only be for moving my furniture and nothing more. Unfortunately I am not financially capable to rent another home without a financial relocation package to help with the initial rental fees. If I were to not accept an offer because of this reason, would I lose my unemployment benefits?

    • I am not sure if you can quit and claim UI benefits on this basis. Please call the Unemployment Office for clarification.

  9. I worked for employer #1 for 6 years and resigned to accept a better job with employer #2. 13 months later, I was laid off. After receiving 2 payments, my claim has been flagged for Request for Relief of Charges-Fact Finding by employer #1. I have responded to the questions and fulfilled all actions requested. When can I expect to receive my benefits again?

    • Darla,

      It depends on the outcome of the fact-finding committee. Please gather updates from your contact at regular intervals and if required, offer the required paperwork to improve your chances.

  10. I am a teacher and getting ready to start a full time job within the next couple of weeks with a non profit Head Start Program. They take summers off. When asked what they do they said teachers apply for unemployment. I have worked consistently with another company for 23 years. Would I qualify for benefits?

    • Carol,

      If your co-workers are claiming UI benefits during the summers, you should be eligible as well. Please check with your HR department.

    • Diana,

      To be eligible, the claimant is required to have active employment and earnings in the last 4-5 calendar quarters. Please use the benefits calculator available on this website for an estimate.

    • Jenny,

      Part-time workers do not qualify. Plus, if you were fired due to voluntary reasons, you will not qualify. Please contact the Unemployment Office for further details.

  11. I have a question. I worked for a company for 3-4 yrs that went bankrupt. I left in Oct 2016. I found a job right away in October, I quit the job in April of 2017. I then worked a job from Aug 1 to Oct 1 2017 that I got fired from. Am I eligible to collect unemployment. Thank you. Laurie Younkin

    • Laurie,

      If you were fired from the last job due to involuntary reasons, you should be able to claim UI benefits until you find another.

  12. My employer wants to cut my pay by 30% and they will give me 4 days a week.(I worked 4 day until they cut it to 2 days) They have work for me for a 4 days a week only if I take a 30% cut in pay.They are under contract to pay my my wages and can not cut it. They are trying to make me quit. If I quit can I collect unemployment. They once offered me unemployment so they would not have to pay me my wages. Can I collect unemployment for the 2 day they cut me.

  13. I worked for an Ohio based company for 14 months and then got an opportunity to work from home in Ohio from a company based in South Carolina. After five weeks of working for them and receiving 20% of what I was supposed to receive in pay I was told this week by the CEO to start looking for a job that he wasn’t going to be able to pay me. I am collecting partial social security from my husband. Can I collect unemployment and do I collect from Ohio or South Carolina? I have tried to get through to the unemployment office without any luck.

    • You may not be eligible to collect Unemployment Insurance from your home-based employment since they would not have paid the relevant taxes into the system. If can perhaps look at applying on the basis of your employment with the Ohio-based company.

  14. While I am getting Ohio unemployment, can my wife work full or part time? Will this impact the dollars I receive?

    • I don’t think your wife’s employment will have an impact on your UI benefits.

      Please call the Unemployment Office for further information.

  15. I had sent in a question on a 1099-G form sent to me, after I had returned all money sent to me. Martin responded, stating he thought I did not have to pay the IRS for money I did not keep. Tried calling claims center, as suggested, nothing in menu that could help me. Other than U. S. Mail, how do I contact claims center to get this form rescinded? Very difficult to talk to a human, with your phone system.

    • Please note this is a private forum and we do not hold any association with the government agencies.

      You can perhaps consider visiting nearest office in your locality, details of which will be available on the official website.

  16. Received approximately 6 checks, and was then notified of overpayment. Paid all monies back quickly. Now I have received a 1099-g form, showing no taxes paid. Will I have to pay taxes on that money, if I did not keep it??

  17. our company is having a mass layoff over christmas and we will get paid the 2 holidays eachweek but will not get paid for the other three days a week can we still collect unemployment for those 2 weeks

  18. If I am working full time and a company moves me to part time status due to low census but doesn’t lay me off, am I eligible to receive partial unemployment benefits?

    • You can consider applying for the lost hours if there was intermittent reduction in the number of hours worked. Not sure if you can be eligible for a job designated as part time.

      Please call the claims center/customer service of the labor dept. in your state for further information.

  19. I’m a truck driver I had a heart attack i’m in good health now but still do not qualify for my med cert which has keep me from working for 4 months can I fill for benfits.

    • You can take it up with higher management in your company.

      If you cite this and quit voluntarily, you will not qualify for Unemployment Insurance.

  20. I have received 2 payments since I have applied for benefits. The check amount was 1014.00 on 6/13/14. Since then I have not received any more payments. I have filed 6/14/14, 6/21/14, 6/28/14, AND 7/5/14. Was wondering when I will receive another payment?

  21. I been on my job for 38 years, but when I retire on 8-1-14 I will not get any money until 10-1-14, can I get unemployment until 10-1-14?

  22. I live in Ohio but work in Pennsylvania and have recently found out my job is being eliminated. What state can I file my unemployment thru do I have a choice? If not which one do I file in?

  23. I am currently recieving ohio benifits and my claim is up on the 22nd of this month. My question is I’ve been reporting my weekly referals since Jan. 5 of this year. Can I use the same referals again on my new claim when I file for a new claim. In my area there not many places to apply and its getting harder to find imployement thats close to home.

      • I dont think you can.For confirmation please contact the customer service of the labor dept in Ohio on 1-877-644-6562.

    • I can understand. But what I know is that the same referrals should not be submitted.They may reject the claim based on this aspect.

  24. I have three step children. I claim them now on my w4 form and I made more than 50% of our income in the 90 day period, Before the child support. Now after the child support it Is less than 50%. Could I claim all my step children being married to there mother on unemployment?

    • If the company i work for has a maintenance shutdown for two weeks and i am not scheduled to work for those two weeks, will i receive benefits for those two weeks if i turn in a claim.

      • I don’t think you will qualify for temporary time off from work.

        Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  25. I was unemployed December 2012 I started a new job February 4 I have been working 37 hours and Nov 1, 2013 I was told they would be cutting my hours to 20 effective immediately becuase they were rearranging duties. Am I eligible to collect unemployment for the hours I am no longer working. I live in Ohio and the company I work for is located in Pittsburgh. Thank You

  26. I am currently active guard reservist in the oh army national guard. Due to high stress of job I have been being seen my doctor foe depression and anxiety. I was wondering if I removed myself from the situation (my job) and resigned my position would I be allowed to collect unemployment. I have been collecting an active duty pay check since 2007.

  27. I haven’t worked since August 23,2012. I never filed for unemployment because I figured I would b back to work before now. Can I still receive an unemployment check? I am married with 4 children.

  28. What if your terminated because the jobs are all going to be outsourced, if I take a retirement plan can I collect unemployment as there will be no monthly income just health insurance that I have to pay for? Would I still qualitify for unemployment since there is no monthly pension check?

    • Often when jobs are outsourced the employer reports those circumstances, identifying affected employees as a “special” class (I do not know the correct terminology). Please contact your local unemployment office, they will be able to assist you.

  29. MY hours have been cut because of slow business, I only work 10 hours a week or less for the past few months. I’m I eligible for unemployment?

  30. i filed a unemployment claim in ohio where i worked for a company named Fagen Inc.. i worked 19weedks so i had to combined wages from GA. I got laid off th fagen job but got fired frm KBR where i worked in GA and got Fired from GA west where i worked in GA i only worked at GA west for 3or4weeks worked at KBR like 4months. will me getting fired from my GA jobs stop me from gettn my uneployment in ohio?

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